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Selected Stories

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  29,386 ratings  ·  621 reviews
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the highly acclaimed translators of War and Peace, Doctor Zhivago, and Anna Karenina, which was an Oprah Book Club pick and million-copy bestseller, bring their unmatched talents to The Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov, a collection of thirty of Chekhov’s best tales from the major periods of his creative life.
Considered the great
Paperback, 454 pages
Published October 31st 2000 by Modern Library (first published 1900)
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4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  29,386 ratings  ·  621 reviews

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J.G. Keely
May 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
There is a vein of dull misery running through much of modern realism. It is not even tragedy, because tragedy requires that the person be suffering as a result of their actions, and that they be emotionally complex enough to understand what is happening to them, and to feel the whole of that pain.

These stories of misery have none of that, they are tales of the ignorant, of the emotionally stunted, who bumble into one stupidity after another, never realizing why or what it means. Is there a cert
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just finished the final story of this collection !
This guy is... Awesome, a master short story writer.
I fell in love with his stories almost every time.
His stories are so simple yet so powerful in impact that I have decided to write a review for each of his stories separately !

For now, three words for this collection...
Captivating !
Enthralling !
Bewitching !
La Petite Américaine
Jul 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Is Your Brain Bigger than a Bolt? Yes? Read This.
I'm not a literary critic, obviously. My description of books as sucky/trite/trash, etc kind of make me wonder how I ever even majored in English Lit all those years ago. But let me see if I can describe Chekhov in the way I've come to understand him ... and his awesomeness. (heehee)

Chekhov was a doctor before he was a writer, he knew how the human body worked, he knew the human mind, and he knew what external stimulus (the weather, the look in a person's eye, the placement of a strange object)
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
To give serious aid to forty outpatients between morning and dinnertime was physically impossible, which meant, willy-nilly, that it was all a deceit. During the fiscal year twelve thousand outpatients were received, which meant, simply speaking, that twelve thousand people were deceived.
from Ward No. 6

The stories in this collection (translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky) were written in the period 1883 to 1903. They appear to be set in the "present" - that is, they are tales of Russia and her pe
Inderjit Sanghera
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Many writers pride themselves on the beauty of their prose style. Flaubert would spend days composing the perfect sentence for Madame Bovary. Nabokov wrote his prose ecstatically, his vocabulary was formidable and formed a core part of his aesthetic values. Proust’s composition was like a flower, the sentences formed a stem upon which the petals of his metaphors were able to grow and develop. Thomas Mann was concerned with weighty philosophical problems, Dostoevskii with psychological ones, Conr ...more
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
You know, man, it doesn't matter who translates you. You always sound just like yourself. A casual observer. And yet the casualness reveals so much about us.

I picked up one of your books yesterday, having a hard time concentrating on anything else. The want to read was there, but nothing sounded good. And then I thought, Chekhov! We haven't read Chekhov in a bit. Two sentences into a randomly picked story I knew it was you, and I knew I would not put down the book until it was finished. And as
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"Io sono per sempre condannato ad esistere al di là della mia essenza, al di là del moventi e del motivi della mia azione, sono condannato ad essere libero. E ciò significa che non è possibile trovare alla libertà altri limiti oltre se stessa, o, se si preferisce, che non siamo liberi di cessare di essere liberi."

No, non sono parole di Cechov queste, ma di Sartre. Ma potrebbero tranquillamente riflettere i pensieri di molti protagonisti cecoviani. Questa libertà però qua è lacerata e non trova p
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to write a review and I don't know where to start.This is what Chekhov does to me. Anton Chekhov leaves me stupefied with his brilliance with words and descriptions. He can paint a landscape of an entire Russian circumstance along with their characters with their emotions written bare on their faces concisely and to-the-point like a surgeon.
The first few stories in this book (added date-wise) seemed incomprehensible and frivolous but as I went on the stories seemed to grow on me and the
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classicissimi
Sono settanta gioielli preziosi i racconti raccolti nel libro. Non avevo apprezzato fino ad ora la bellezza ed il valore dei racconti, penalizzandoli anche nella mia libreria, in cui sono rimasti intonsi per anni, nella stupida convinzione che il romanzo avesse un senso di compiutezza che ad essi manca. Ma quali racconti avevo letto fino ad oggi?
Questi di Cechov sono splendidi, sono un estratto aromatizzato dell’esistenza, come un profumato tè servito da un samovar sempre caldo. Gli aromi che s
pierlapo  quimby
Consideravo che leggere Cechov sotto il sole di Creta offre indubbi vantaggi allo sprovveduto lettore.
Primo: non c'è da patire il freddo per quei lunghi inverni gelidi, le tormente di neve, i rami ghiacciati che fanno da sfondo alla gran parte dei racconti; basta osservarsi lunghi distesi sul lettino, ben oliati di creme solari, imperlati di sudore e anche il più piccolo tremito viene subito ricacciato indietro.
Poi, le pene d'amore, le parole non pronunciate, gli sguardi fiduciosi e timorosi, gl
Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Yes, I mostly read this book because Francine Prose told me to in Reading Like a Writer; but also because I had heard from multiple people that Chekhov is the shit and needs to be read by everyone.

Having finished this collection of stories, I can wholeheartedly concur. There's nothing especially earth-shattering or revelatory about these stories - for the most part, each one is about ordinary people living ordinary lives and having ordinary experiences. There's nothing very special going on wit
Elie F
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: russian
Chekhov wrote in a period of rapid social change and turmoil: from the serf emancipation of 1860s to the revolution of 1905. Nonetheless, his short stories are tranquil, peaceful, and nuanced. In the dullness of a gentry's countryside estate or a rural factory, life's misery evolve, and unhappy people bear their burden silently: drunkenness, idleness, jealousy, peasants' poverty, gentry's nostalgia and indifference. But still, an ephemeral revelation of life's meaning and eternal salvation might ...more
Aldo Meza
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aunque son pocos los cuento que leí, me ha gustado mucho Chéjov, sin duda buscaré más obras de el. Y a la vez, me doy cuenta de lo influyente que es, al leerlo me daba cuenta que otros autores y columnistas que me gustan, definitivamente son aficionados a Chéjov.
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"At the door of every contented, happy man somebody should stand with a little hammer, constantly tapping, to remind him that unhappy people exist, that however happy he may be, sooner or later life will show him its claws, some calamity will befall him - illness, poverty, loss - and nobody will hear or see, just as he doesn't hear or see others now. But there is nobody with a little hammer, the happy man lives on, and the petty cares of life stir him only slightly, as wind stirs an aspen - and ...more
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This collection of thirty stories by the Russian dramatist and short story master is a fine career sample, beginning with early sketches and including major stories often anthologized such as “Ward No. 6” and “The Lady with the Little Dog.” His subjects are doctors, peasants, petty officials, ferrymen, monks, nannies, soldiers, patients, artists, society folks. His topics are as broad—fidelity, integrity, meaning, duty, survival, faith, class. There are stories about a medical student and an art ...more
Biswajit Chakraborty
চেখফ পড়া হইল অবশেষে। কি বলব এই বযাপারে? কেন চেখফ এত মহান? কেন ছোট গলপের কষেতরে চেখফ অদবিতীয়? চেখফ পড়লে কি কি বিকট দারশনিক সমসযার মুশকিল আসান হয়ে যাবে?
কিছুই না হয়ত। যেটা বলা যায় চেখফকে নিয়ে তা হল তাঁর গলপের সারলয। একেবারে আশেপাশের মানুষজন, নিতানতই আটপৌরে কথাবারতা, একদম নিতয-নৈমিততিক সব ঘটনা। গলপে যে একটা চূড়ানত কলাইমযাকস থাকতে হবে, শেষে ভীষণ কোন টুইসট দিতে হবে, এমনটাও কিছু না। কোন কিছুর তোয়াককা না করে চেখফ কেবল গলপগুলো বলে গেছেন, নানান দৃশয নিয়ে এসেছেন চোখের সামনে। সৈনিক থেকে শুরু করে জেনারেল, চ
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
৫৩ সালের গা-ঝকঝকে কপি, বিশ টাকা দিয়ে কিনছি সেদিন :D

চেখফকে রীতিমত ডাকসাইটে মনে হচছে। কয়েকটা গলপ মনে হয় আবার পড়া লাগবে। এইটা মনে হওয়ার কারণ, ওলেঙকার গলপটা আগে একবার পড়ছিলাম, বাংলায়, মুজতবা আলীর একটা বইয়ে। বলেই ফেলি, তখন একেবারেই ভালো লাগে নাই। আজকে পড়তে গিয়ে দেখি ভালো লাগা ত ভালো লাগা, ঐ জিনিস মোটামুটি জেঁকে বসে ছিলো মাথায় গোটা বছর জুড়ে। যেইখানেই কলমের আঁচড়, সেইখানেই ওলেঙকা।

পরথম পড়াতেই বিশপ, ইয়োনিচ, নামভাঙা গলপ, একটি ঘটনামাতর, কুকুরসমেত নারী, ডাকিনী, এইগুলি অসাধারণ লাগছে। আচছা, একটু গোপন করা হয়ে য
Leo Robertson
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
WOW. These are total stories. Chekhov truly is a courageous champion of the unsaid, the stories of the untold lives of ordinary folk, of social justice.

Who knew that grey language could evoke so many emotions, transcend so many genres, and bite and rage and ironically smirk after so many years?? From horror stories like Sleepy and Ward No. 6 to the terror, humour and tedium of A Boring Story, the apparent celebration of madness in The Black Monk, the revelation of the sea, nay, the universe’s(!)
Jul 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had only previously heard of Anton Chekov in passing but never really felt inclined to read his work, thinking, wrongly, that he was one of those authors that is boring to read without taking a class on him ( **cough* James Joyce *cough**) but a book of his stories caught my eye at the library and I decided to finally indulge my curiosity. And.... I was absolutely blown away. Dazzled even. No special effects, no fantastical events needed. There is something so captivating and truthful about hi ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Klasik okuma isteğim mi kabardı bilmem, müthiş zevkle okudum tüm hikayeleri. Kısa ve kolay anlaşılır cümlelerle yazılmış olması değerini azaltmıyor öykülerin. Cümlelerin sakinliğinden sonunda yine pis bir şey olacağını aşağı yukarı seziyorsunuz. Çok etkilendim. Acı ve çarpıcı sonları bir tokat gibi patladı sanki ( bu ifade çok sıradan oldu kabul ediyorum.) Çehov’un tipini de kendime benzettim biraz, hoşuma gitti, sanki otuz yaşımdaki halim gibi.
Efendim; en sevdiğim öykü hangisi mi oldu? Prenses
Roy Lotz
It is a difficult prospect to review a collection of short stories. There isn’t an overarching plot to grab hold of, nor, perhaps, even a consistent theme-group. One is reduced to arranging scatterd bits and pieces of reflections and reactions, which—if all goes well—will add up to some sort of general impression.

My general impression of Chekhov is that he is a great artist; he is a master in every sense of the word.

Writing a good short story is a delicate art. Unlike the writer of a novel, the
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Selected Stories by Anton Chekov (1860-1904)

These short stories seem to me like a summary of the Russian nineteenth-century literature.

In the most extreme climate of snow and ice, torrential rain and flooding, knee-deep mud and dirt on every road, Russia was not a country for an easy living.

In his concentrated way, using a minimum of words, Chekov expresses all essential characteristics of country life.

Across all these short novels, we will meet, the wealthy and fat landowners and their descen
S Prakash
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
“Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there.” This famous principle of Chekov on writing and which he had followed in earnest has produced some of the finest, crisp short stories.

His stories are a reflection on the Russian society in the late nineteenth century; moral conflicts of individuals;
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Astonishing. Chekhov clearly understands how people work, and how to express it. I need to sit and think a while to process this further.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The concept of irony befuddles me. I've looked up the definition many times (including just now), puzzled over it and read differing opinions over whether Alanis Morissette's famous song 'Ironic' contains examples of irony. And yet I still feel in the dark; maybe that's the real irony.

But that's a whole other essay. I bring this up because I recently dove into the short stories of Anton Chekhov and find myself similarly befuddled by Chekhov's Gun, a literary idea regarding how to set up a story
Hugo Emanuel
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Esta foi a primeira colecção de histórias que li de Chekhov (ou Tchekhov, se preferirem a tradução dada ao nome do autor em português. Usarei nesta “review” a tradução utilizada pela editora que publicou a edição que li). Já tinha lido em algumas antologias que coleccionavam contos de vários autores umas duas ou três das suas histórias, as quais deixaram uma impressão extremamente favorável do autor. Tinha prometido a mim próprio na altura vir a ler muito mais da obra de Chekhov num futuro próxi ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
P. 48- "(...) tudo neste mundo é muito belo, tudo menos o que nós próprios pensamos e fazemos quando nos esquecemos das finalidades superiores da existência, da nossa humana dignidade."

in "A senhora do cãozinho"
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Biting, funny and entertaining stories about ordinary people.
Nov 29, 2010 marked it as sampled-a-few
I'm generally good about not being too starstruck by literary reputation, and I feel pretty confident that I can bravely approach the big guns and judge them based on my personal view of their merits. But with Chekhov, for some reason, I find myself cowed. Like, I'm just not really sure what I think of him and I kind of have this stupid feeling like I want someone to tell me. You know, it's CHEKHOV, right? I should have some big RESPONSE. I should love him! Or loathe him! I need to think somethi ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
(Wordsworth Classics, 1995)

I thought I would enjoy this book more than I actually did. A good amount
of these stories left me cold, baffled, or just not very satisfied.

There were a few I liked, especially "The Night Before Easter."

Novel or not, there's a lot to be learned from Chekhov's simple presentation of complex characters and his descriptive scenes. And some parts were very funny, even if the whole wasn't amazing.

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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov [Russian: Антон Павлович Чехов] was born in the small seaport of Taganrog, southern Russia, the son of a grocer. Chekhov's grandfather was a serf, who had bought his own freedom and that of his three sons in 1841. He also taught himself to read and write. Yevgenia Morozova, Chekhov's mother, was the daughter of a cloth merchant.
"When I think back on my childhood," Chekhov r
“They say philosophers and wise men are indifferent. Wrong. Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death.” 84 likes
“Only one who loves can remember so well.” 80 likes
More quotes…